Integral Ecology and Climate Change
by Adam Robbert
Sean Esbjorn-Hargens, co-author with Michael Zimmerman of the book Integral Ecology: Uniting Multiple Perspectives on the Natural World has a new article entitled AN ONTOLOGY OF CLIMATE CHANGE: Integral Pluralism and the Enactment of Multiple Objects. Here is the abstract from the article:
ABSTRACT Climate change is a complex phenomenon that is enacted by multiple methodologies from various disciplines. No single method by itself can see or reveal climate change in its entirety. This raises the issue of the ontological status of climate change and to what degree are the data from these methodological traditions pointing to a singular or multiple object. This article explores the ontology of climate change. First, the notion of ontological pluralism is introduced and linked to climate change. Next, the role of enactment and performativity is explored in the context of climate change. As a result of this analysis, climate change is presented as a multiple object with overlapping and divergent dimensions. Issues of hybridity and multiplicity are linked to climate change action. Lastly, a framework of Integral Pluralism is presented that addresses the relationship between epistemological distance (the Who), methodological variety (the How), and ontological complexity (the What). In conclusion, this article presents five reasons why it is advantageous- philosophically and pragmatically- to relate to climate change as an ontological plurality.
As a grad student at the California Institute of Integral Studies, I have been following the OOO-Integral theory connection from the beginnings of my introduction to OOO as a field of philosophy (others have also picked up on this connection). Ironically, I am more versed in actor-networks and science studies than I am in Esbjorn-Hargens’ (following Ken Wilber) AQAL method- though hanging out at CIIS will definitely give you a dose of it by osmosis. The article is very successful and, I think, provides a much needed gateway between ANT and the AQAL theorists.
Check it out.